In this workshop, we'll open by discussing the basics: What is a personal essay, and how do I know I've written one? We'll touch on a narrative arc, conflict, tension, and what makes a personal story relevant to a larger audience. From there, we'll discuss how to approach a publication with your work. For example, what qualities make an essay good for a literary magazine versus a mainstream publication? We'll also discuss how to literally submit your work, including how to reach out to editors, cover letters, contests, and what to consider when it comes to finding a home for your essay.
Marissa Higgins is a queer writer and editor based in Washington, DC. Her personal essay on food and poverty, originally in Catapult, appears in the Best American Food Writing 2018. Her other nonfiction appears, or is forthcoming, in the Sun, Atlantic, Washington Post, Guernica, Salon, NPR, Slate, Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her work centers on poverty, LGBTQ issues, and how food intersects class and culture. She is working on a book of essays.